Listen up, pet owners: the CDC and the FDA have linked a multi-state salmonella outbreak affecting hundreds of people with popular pig ear dog treats.
Don't buy 'em, don't sell 'em, don't even TOUCH 'em... those crispy cured pig's ears sold for years as dog chew treats are making people and their pets sick as do-, er, pretty darned sick! First reported in July of 2019, both the CDC and FDA have now issued updates covering any and ALL pig ear products.
The stats are grim, for humans at least: according to the CDC “a total of 127 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 33 states.” Twenty-six people have been hospitalized thus far, with 24 of the reported illnesses occurring in children under the age of five.
The insidious nature of salmonella poisoning is that the bacteria are spread through contact. This means people can come down with symptoms merely by handling infected pig ear treats, and through caring for dogs who became ill after eating the treats.
Yes, dogs can get salmonella too though the extent of the current outbreak among the canine population isn't as easily quantified.
The reason for the blanket ban, according to the regulatory agencies, is that more than one strain of salmonella has been identified in pig ear treats, and the bacteria cannot be traced to any single supplier, distributor or brand of the popular treats.
Please refer to the CDC and FDA websites for updates. The CDC site in particular offers useful advice for dog owners who have previously purchased pig ear treats and still have them on-hand. (images via CDC and News21-National)